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09.13.18

Links 13/9/2018: Parrot 4.2.2, Sailfish OS Nurmonjoki, Eelo Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 1:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tips to adopt open source enterprise architecture tools

    If you’re a CTO and your head of engineering asks, “Can we say that Docker is production-ready now?” your answer would undoubtedly be: “Yes.” If you weren’t using Docker already, you would be eager to adopt the technology that now forms the basis of many companies’ application architecture.

  • Inside Alfresco’s open source faction: the Order of the Bee

    When Thomas H Lee Partners moved to acquire information management business Alfresco, many of its open source contributors inside and outside the company were concerned the new leadership might not appreciate the open DNA of the firm. Enter the Order of the Bee.

    While those fears ultimately were not realised – to the relief of Alfresco employees and the wider open source ecosystem that contributes – the faction of open source advocates with their DIY philosophy is an independent symbol of the company’s open source core.

    The Order of the Bee is a group separate to Alfresco that is concerned chiefly about the open source Community Edition and advocacy of this in the open source and wider technical community.

  • Sauce Labs coding lead: how open source contribution should work

    Sauce Labs is known for its Continuous Testing (CT) technology and the company is a devoted adherent to open source — it provides a continuous testing cloud that allows developers to verify that their web and mobile native apps work correctly across a variety of devices using the open source testing protocols Selenium and Appium.

    [...]

    As an end note here, Sauce Labs says it’s also about culture and the firm insists that contributions comes all the way from Charles Ramsay, the CEO, down.

    Murchie has said that this also highlights that open source is not just about lines of code. Every expertise that is useful within a company is also useful in the open source community.

  • Open Source Eases AT&T’s Technical Burden

    AT&T’s embrace of the open source community was echoed by Wheelus’ colleague Catherine Lefèvre, associate vice president for Network Cloud and infrastructure at AT&T Labs, who said the carrier’s work with that ecosystem is very collaborative. AT&T has been central to a number of telecom-focused open source projects housed with the Linux Foundation, including the Open Network Automation Project (ONAP), the Akraino Edge Stack project, and the Acumos artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning platform.

    “It’s not just thinking about yourself, but what needs to be developed beyond just your own needs,” Lefèvre said of working in the open source community.

  • Events

    • linuxdev-br: a Linux international conference in Brazil

      linuxdev-br second edition just happened end of last month in Campinas, Brazil. We have put a nice write-up about the conference on the link below. Soon we will start planning next year’s event. Come and join our community!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Looking at Firefox performance 57 vs 63

        Last November we released Firefox v.57, otherwise known as Firefox Quantum. Quantum was in many ways a whole new browser with the focus on speed as compared to previous versions of Firefox.

        As I write about many topics on my blog which are typically related to my current work at Mozilla, I haven’t written about measuring or monitoring Performance in a while. Now that we are almost a year out I thought it would be nice to look at a few of the key performance tests that were important for tracking in the Quantum release and what they look like today.

        First I will look at the benchmark Speedometer which was used to track browser performance primarily of the JS engine and DOM.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Altair Introduces Open Source and Free Basic Editions for Model-Based Development Offerings

      Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR) announces the release and immediate availability of free Basic Editions of its Model-Based Development suite and its open matrix language (OML) source code. To help innovators everywhere accelerate the time-to-benefits from Model-Based Development (MBD) and to make MBD more open and accessible, Altair is taking the following steps:

      Building upon its strong reputation of providing open-architecture simulation solutions by open-sourcing its open-source computational programming language, OML. Interested users and contributors can download the source code from the OpenMatrix website.

      Introducing Basic Editions of its MBD suite of software products – Altair Compose™, Altair Activate™, and Altair Embed™ – available to everybody at no cost, with free training videos available online via Altair’s open Learning Center. There are no license fees, nor any subscription or maintenance fees.

    • GitHub Foreshadows Big Open Source Announcements at GitHub Universe
    • Ending PHP Support, and The Future Of Hack [Ed: Facebook EEE]
    • Facebook’s Last HHVM Release With PHP Support Set For December

      HHVM that started out as Facebook’s project for a high-performance PHP implementation and morphed into the basis of their Hack programming language will cease to support PHP.

      As was decided months ago, Facebook developers will be working on HHVM just for Hack and no longer for PHP compatibility. That’s being done in part since PHP7, the official PHP implementation has gotten a lot faster and Facebook has meanwhile migrated more of their internal code to be Hack-based.

    • FreeYourGIS: Open Source or Commercial GIS, or both [Ed: Promoting the fiction (FUD) that "Open Source" and "Commercial" are opposites. They should say proprietary, i.e. secret and untrustworthy.]

      I’m a big fan of open source software, including geospatial software, such as QGIS and GeoServer, and it’s not just because it can be used without paying a license fee. The best thing about open source is the community of users that share their code and support one another through shared applications, documentation, tips, and tricks. This is the same spirit that exists in the Pitney Bowes user community (Li360), ESRI’s GeoNET, and the countless other software communities of practice.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Slides From The GNU Tools Cauldron 2018 Conference

      Taking place last weekend over in Manchester was the annual GNU Tools Cauldron conference where toolchain developers spent a few days discussing the latest open-source compiler work.

      Talks this year included the state of C++ modules, libgccjit for GCC JIT’ing, the state of RISC-V, using the GCC regression suite suite for LLVM, GDB, the GNU C Library, and much more. It was also at the GNU Tools Cauldron where we learned more about the AMD GCN back-end.

    • New release of FisicaLab for Windows

      Due to some problems reported by Windows users, I decide to release a new Windows installer of FisicaLab with the alternative interface using IUP. This version is the number 0.3.5.1 and you can download it here. I will add some new features before release the version 0.4.0. If you have some problem with this new installer please write me.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Is the ‘commons clause’ a threat to open source?

      There are discussions on various forums regarding this clause with conflicting views. So, I will try to give my views on this.

      Opposers of the clause believe a software becomes propriety on applying commons clause. This means that any service created from the original software remains the intellectual property of the original company to sell.

      The fear is that this would discourage the community from contributing to open-source projects with a commons clause attached since the new products made will remain with the company. Only they will be able to monetize it if they choose to do so.

      On the one hand, companies that make millions of dollars from open source software and giving anything back is not in line with the ethos of open source software. But on the other hand, smaller startups and individual contributors get penalized by this clause too.

      What if small companies contribute to a large open source project and want to use the derived product for their growth? They can’t anymore if the commons clause is applied to the project they contributed to. It is also not right to think that a contributor deserves 50% of the profits if a company makes millions of dollars using their open source project.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Bixel, An Open Source 16×16 Interactive LED Array

        The phrase “Go big or go home” is clearly not lost on [Adam Haile] and [Dan Ternes] of Maniacal Labs. For years they’ve been thinking of creating a giant LED matrix where each “pixel” doubled as a physical push button. Now that they’ve built up experience working on other LED projects, they finally decided it was time to take the plunge and create their masterpiece: the Bixel.

        [...]

        In the end, they cut the individual LEDs out of RGB strips, and soldered them down to their custom designed 500mmx500mm PCB. To the sides of each section of strip are two tactile switches, and above is a “sandwich” made of laser cut acrylic. The sheet closest to the LEDs has a 25mm hole, the top sheet has a 20mm hole, and between them is a circle of acrylic that acts as the “button”. Once it’s all screwed together, the button can’t fall out of the front or move from side to side, but it can be pushed down to contact the tactile switches.

  • Programming/Development

    • Firefox is now built with clang LTO on all* platforms

      You might have read that Mozilla recently switched Windows builds to clang-cl. More recently, those Windows builds have seen both PGO and LTO enabled.

      As of next nightly (as of writing, obviously), all tier-1 platforms are now built with clang with LTO enabled. Yes, this means Linux, Mac and Android arm, aarch64 and x86. Linux builds also have PGO enabled.

      Mac and Android builds were already using clang, so the only difference is LTO being enabled, which brought some performance improvements.

    • Firefox Is Now Built With Clang+LTO Everywhere, Sizable Performance Wins For Linux

      Firefox nightly builds are now built with the LLVM Clang compiler on all major platforms and the Linux build in particular is also now utilizing PGO optimizations too. Faster Firefox is coming thanks to this compiler work.

      All of Mozilla’s tier-one platforms are now building the newest Firefox browser code under the Clang compiler and having LTO (Link Time Optimizations) enabled. That includes Linux, Mac, Android, Windows across ARM / AArch64 / x86 relying upon this open-source compiler. For now only the Linux builds also have PGO (Profile Guided Optimizations) enabled.

    • Rust office hours

      …I’m going to start an experiment that I call Rust office hours. The idea is simple: I’ve set aside a few slots per week to help people work through problems they are having learning or using Rust. My goal here is both to be of service but also to gain more insight into the kinds of things people have trouble with. No problem is too big or too small!

    • This Week in Rust 251

      Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a systems language pursuing the trifecta: safety, concurrency, and speed. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community.

    • Return to Limbo

      When the time came to pack up and return to Norway I considered whether I wanted to continue writing small examples in Go and porting some of my Python modules. It didn’t feel all that comfortable or intuitive to write in Go, though I realise that it simply takes practice to gain familiarity. Despite this, it was worth taking some time to get an overview of the basics of Go for reasons that I’ll get to later.

      [...]

      As mentioned earlier, I was interested in setting up Inferno on an old netbook – an Efika MX Smartbook – and had already experimented with running the system in its hosted form on top of Debian GNU/Linux. Running hosted Inferno is a nice way to get some experience using the system and seems to be the main way it is used these days. Running the system natively requires porting it to the specific hardware in use, and I knew that I could use the existing code for U-Boot, FreeBSD and Linux as a reference at the very least. So, the task would be to take hardware-specific code for the i.MX51 platform and adapt it to use the conventions of the Inferno porting layer. Building from the ground up, there are a few ports of Inferno to other ARM devices that could be used as foundations for a new port.

    • An introduction to the Julia language, part 2

      Part 1 of this series introduced the Julia project’s goals and development process, along with the language syntax, including the basics of control flow, data types, and, in more detail, how to work with arrays. In this part, user-defined functions and the central concept of multiple dispatch are described. It will also survey Julia’s module and package system, cover some syntax features, show how to make plots, and briefly dip into macros and distributed computing.

    • Learning about Go internals at GopherCon

      GopherCon is the major conference for the Go language, attended by 1600 dedicated “gophers”, as the members of its community like to call themselves. Held for the last five years in Denver, it attracts programmers, open-source contributors, and technical managers from all over North America and the world. GopherCon’s highly-technical program is an intense mix of Go internals and programming tutorials, a few of which we will explore in this article.

      Internals talks included one on the scheduler and one on memory allocation; programming talks included why not to base your authorization strategy on hash-based message authentication codes (HMACs). But first, here’s a little about upcoming changes to Go itself.

    • How subroutine signatures work in Perl 6

      In the first article in this series comparing Perl 5 to Perl 6, we looked into some of the issues you might encounter when migrating code into Perl 6. In the second article, we examined how garbage collection works in Perl 6, and in the third article, we looked at how containers replaced references in Perl 6. Here in the fourth article, we will focus on (subroutine) signatures in Perl 6 and how they differ from those in Perl 5.

Leftovers

  • Fab Lab-enabled Humanitarian Aid in India

    Since June 2018 the state of Kerala in India has endured massive floodings, as you may have read in the news. This article contains a brief summary what the international Fab Lab Community has been doing until now (early September 2018) to help the people recovering.

  • Security

    • It’s September 2018, and Windows VMs can pwn their host servers by launching an evil app

      Admins will again be working overtime as Microsoft and Adobe have posted their monthly scheduled security updates for September.

      This month’s Patch Tuesday bundle includes critical fixes for Windows, SQL Server, and Hyper V, as well as Flash and Cold Fusion.

    • Windows Task Scheduler Micropatch Released by 0patch
    • Dell EMC VPlex GeoSynchrony Users Requested to Upgrade to v6.1 to Avoid Insecure File Permissions Vulnerability
    • Apache Struts 2.3.25 and 2.5.17 resolve Cryptojacking Exploit Vulnerability
    • TOR Browser Zero Day Vulnerability Revealed On Twitter; Patched Immediately

      A zero-day vulnerability for Tor browser was revealed yesterday on Twitter by Zerodium — a company that buys and sells exploits in software.

      [...]

      Even though NoScript is supposed to block all JavaScript at its “safest” security level, but there is a backdoor that can be exploited by attackers to suppress NoScript and run malicious codes anyway.

      However, this bug can be exploited in Tor Browser 7.x only and the recently released Tor Browser 8.x is unaffected by this bug.

    • Protecting files with fs-verity

      The developers of the Android system have, among their many goals, the wish to better protect Android devices against persistent compromise. It is bad if a device is taken over by an attacker; it’s worse if it remains compromised even after a reboot. Numerous mechanisms for ensuring the integrity of installed system files have been proposed and implemented over the years. But it seems there is always room for one more; to fill that space, the fs-verity mechanism is being proposed as a way to protect individual files from malicious modification.

      The core idea behind fs-verity is the generation of a Merkle tree containing hashes of the blocks of a file to be protected. Whenever a page of that file is read from storage, the kernel ensures that the hash of the page in question matches the hash in the tree. Checking hashes this way has a number of advantages. Opening a file is fast, since the entire contents of the file need not be hashed at open time. If only a small portion of the file is read, the kernel never has to bother reading and checking the rest. It is also possible to catch modifications made to the file after it has been opened, which will not be caught if the hash is checked at open time.

    • Strengthening user-space Spectre v2 protection

      The Spectre variant 2 vulnerability allows the speculative execution of incorrect (in an attacker-controllable way) indirect branch predictions, resulting in the ability to exfiltrate information via side channels. The kernel has been reasonably well protected against this variant since shortly after its disclosure in January. It is, however, possible for user-space processes to use Spectre v2 to attack each other; thus far, the mainline kernel has offered relatively little protection against such attacks. A recent proposal from Jiri Kosina may change that situation, but there are still some disagreements around the details.

      On relatively recent processors (or those with suitably patched microcode), the “indirect branch prediction barrier” (IBPB) operation can be used to flush the branch-prediction buffer, removing any poisoning that an attacker might have put there. Doing an IBPB whenever the kernel switches execution from one process to another would defeat most Spectre v2 attacks, but IBPB is seen as being expensive, so this does not happen. Instead, the kernel looks to see whether the incoming process has marked itself as being non-dumpable, which is typically only done by specialized processes that want to prevent secrets from showing up in core dumps. In such cases, the process is deemed to be worth protecting and the IBPB is performed.

      Kosina notes that only a “negligible minority” of the code running on Linux systems marks itself as non-dumpable, so user space on Linux systems is essentially unprotected against Spectre v2. The solution he proposes is to use IBPB more often. In particular, the new code checks whether the outgoing process would be able to call ptrace() on the incoming process. If so, the new process can keep no secrets from the old one in any case, so there is no point in executing an IBPB operation. In cases where ptrace() would not succeed, though, the IBPB will happen.

    • Life behind the tinfoil curtain

      Security and convenience rarely go hand-in-hand, but if your job (or life) requires extraordinary care against potentially targeted attacks, the security side of that tradeoff may win out. If so, running a system like Qubes OS on your desktop or CopperheadOS on your phone might make sense, which is just what Konstantin Ryabitsev, Linux Foundation (LF) director of IT security, has done. He reported on the experience in a talk [YouTube video] entitled “Life Behind the Tinfoil Curtain” at the 2018 Linux Security Summit North America.

      He described himself as a “professional Russian hacker” from before it became popular, he said with a chuckle. He started running Linux on the desktop in 1998 (perhaps on Corel Linux, which he does not think particularly highly of) and has been a member of the LF staff since 2011. He has been running Qubes OS on his main workstation since August 2016 and CopperheadOS since September 2017. He stopped running CopperheadOS in June 2018 due to the upheaval at the company, but he hopes to go back to it at some point—”maybe”.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • 4 Practical Measures to Improve Election Security Now

      It’s more critical than ever for states to protect our democratic system and voting infrastructure from foreign cyber espionage.

      In the past, a midterm election season would pass without much fanfare. These have been torpid affairs with low voter turnout and few big-ticket issues, which historically has meant incumbents rather predictably hold their seats.

      If midterms made for few headlines then, they’re making up for it now. At the recent Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, election security was a foremost concern.

      I was able to visit the DEF CON Voting Village, where actual voting machines were being hacked. But more importantly, there were independent experts and state government voting officials that you could talk to about the voting process.

    • Injecting chaos experiments into security log pipelines

      Security teams depend on high-quality logs for most preventative security efforts. Preventing an incident from occurring requires observable insight into where the failure might come from, and logs are one important source for such insights. When an incident occurs, organizations must be able to respond and contain them as quickly as possible. Logs are not only essential to find the source of a problem, but they also help identify appropriate countermeasures.

      But what happens when an organization doesn’t have the right log data? When an unknown or unforeseeable event occurs, how can we gain insights into why we didn’t see it coming?

      Consider this scenario: You go to work as a security incident response engineer one fine Monday morning. As soon as you walk into your office, you are informed that the HR department has suddenly lost access to the content, which includes some highly sensitive data, on their shared network drives. Further examination shows that all of the files and directories on the drive have been renamed to .exe. At this point, you are almost certain that it is the result of some kind of a malware and you have a security incident on your hands.

    • Top 10 Ubuntu Network Tools

      Ubuntu is the most popular choice for underlying Operating System due to its ease of use and powerful shell system. Due to more and more network access needed in most of the distributed applications today, the restrictions which need to be applied for network access and monitoring has only increased. In this lesson, we will study the ten most popular Network Tools for Ubuntu OS which can be used to monitor network usage with visualization as well.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • 1953: The CIA and Iran’s stolen democracy

      Almost 65 years ago, the CIA overthrew Iran’s first democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. Recently the U.S. State Department published documents showing the full extent of U.S. involvement in the coup. By Thomas Latschan

    • CIA Likely to Launch Drone Strikes in Libya – Report

      These attacks are in addition to the strikes expected to be launched by the U.S. military against Sahel militants from new facilities being built by the U.S. Air Force in Agadez in central Niger. This news comes after word that the U.S. Air Force is months away from completing the construction of an air base in Niger for armed drones that will target militant groups operating in the region.

    • How a C.I.A. drone base grew in the African desert
    • Militarized Drones Take Africa in Counterterrorism Tactic: CIA

      Reports said the U.S. presence in the region has grown from 100 military personnel to 800 people.

      The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding and will target concentrations of al-Qaeda and ISIS in the Nigerian desert, the New York Times said Monday.

    • US threatens to arrest ICC judges who probe war crimes

      The United States threatened Monday to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge any American who served in Afghanistan with war crimes.

      White House National Security Advisor John Bolton called the Hague-based rights body “unaccountable” and “outright dangerous” to the United States, Israel and other allies, and said any probe of US service members would be “an utterly unfounded, unjustifiable investigation.”

      “If the court comes after us, Israel or other US allies, we will not sit quietly,” Bolton said.

    • A Trumpian War on Terror That Just Keeps Getting Bigger

      On August 29, U.S. forces carried out their 21st confirmed air strike in Somalia this year. The short U.S. Africa Command (Africom) press release announcing the strike on al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda–linked insurgency that has sought to implement a hard-line Islamic state in Somalia, resembled those that had come before it: It did not specify the kind of aircraft used, the exact location of the strike, or the identities of those killed. As with past press statements, this one also claimed that no civilians had been killed or injured in the strike.

      Though America’s drone war in Somalia has been shrouded in secrecy, in the past year and a half the number of American air strikes in Somalia have notably increased. According to multiple foreign analysts, Somali officials, and several al-Shabaab defectors, these strikes have become one of the most effective tools in confronting the group. The air campaign has hindered al-Shabaab’s ability to communicate, sown widespread mistrust among its members, and restricted its leaders’ mobility.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Kamphuis found in Norway: police

      Norwegian police have found belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis at sea in northern Norway more than three weeks after he disappeared.

      [...]

      WikiLeaks was launched in 2006 as a web-based outlet for would-be leakers. In July 2010, it released more than 90,000 classified U.S. military documents on the war in Afghanistan and before publishing 400,000 more secret U.S. files on the Iraq war. The two leaks represented the largest security breaches of their kind in U.S. military history.

      It followed these up with the release of 250,000 secret diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world, angering U.S. politicians and military officials, who said the unauthorized dissemination would put lives at risk.

      The discovery of Kamphuis’ belongings was being investigated and the police are asking the public for any information about his movements in the area.

      Investigators searched the area with assistance from local Red Cross and a rescue vessel.

    • Arjen Kamphuis: Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate found in sea off Norway

      The personal belongings of a WikiLeaks associate who has been missing for three weeks have been found at sea.

      Arjen Kamphuis left his hotel in Bodoe, Norway, where he was on holiday, on 20 August and has not been seen since.

      His belongings were found by a fisherman on 11 September, in an area east of the town.

      Police and the Red Cross are now searching the area where the belongings were found with a rescue vessel.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s belongings found in Norway fjord
    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate Kamphuis found in Norway – police

      The Dutch cybersecurity expert has been missing since Aug. 20, when he left his hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodoe, where he had been on holiday. The belongings were found by a man out fishing on Tuesday in an area to the east of Bodoe.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate Arjen Kamphuis’ belongings found in sea – three weeks after he disappeared

      Kamphuis, 47, from Amsterdam, has not been seen since August 20 after leaving his hotel in Norway to reportedly go hiking.

      The Dutch cybersecurity expert had been on holiday in the northern Norwegian town of Bodoe but checked out of his hotel on the day he went missing.

      Police believe he then caught a train to Rognan more than 50 miles away.

      The discovery was made by a fisherman on Tuesday who found the items floating in the sea near the shoreline in an area to the east of Bodoe.

    • Belongings of missing WikiLeaks associate found by fisherman in Norway

      Norwegian police have found the belongings of Julian Assange’s associate, cyber security expert Arjen Kamphuis, who mysteriously went missing in late August.

      The 47-year-old co-author of a handbook for investigative journalists on how to keep themselves and their work safe from government spying, has been missing since August 20. At that time, Kamphuis checked out of a hotel in the town of Bodo in northern Norway and hasn’t been seen since.

    • Fisherman Finds Assets of Assange’s Missing Associate off Norway Coast – Reports

      Kamphuis was last seen checking out of a hotel in the northern Norwegian town of Bodo on August 20. Police believe that he could have taken a train to the town of Rognan. This comes as the only development in the ongoing two-week investigation into the missing cybersecurity expert.

      On Tuesday night, a Norwegian fisherman found the personal belongings of Arjen Kamphuis, WikiLeaks founder Assange’s associate, who went missing three weeks ago. They were found in the sea between the towns of Fauske and Rognan in Nordland county, the local newspaper VG reported on Wednesday.

      Officials didn’t reveal what belongings had been found for the sake of the ongoing investigation. But police suggested that Kamphuis, who was last seen in the northern city of Bodo on August 20, took a local train to Rognan that day, departing at 16:05 and arriving at 17:29.

    • Belongings of missing associate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are found in the sea off of Norway

      Investigators searched the area with assistance from local Red Cross and a rescue vessel.

    • Items of missing WikiLeaks man found
    • Items of missing WikiLeaks man found near Norway
    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s items found in Norway fjord

      A fisherman found the objects floating in the water late yesterday, said police in a statement, confirming that the items “belong to the missing person”, but providing no details about them due to the ongoing investigation.

    • Missing WikiLeaks associate’s belongings found in Norway fjord

      The objects were found near Kvaenflaget, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Bodo, in the waters of a fjord. Police and emergency crews have now begun searching the water and land in the area.

    • WikiLeaks Associate Kamphuis’ Belongings Found Floating in Sea, Sparking Homicide Fears

      BODØ, NORWAY — The belongings of Arjen Kamphuis, a Dutch cybersecurity expert closely associated with the transparency organization WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, have been found in Norway, sparking fears that Kamphuis was the victim of a criminal act.

      Kamphuis’ belongings were found on Tuesday floating in the sea east of the Norwegian town of Bodø, where Kamphuis was last seen on August 20 by a local fisherman.

      The discovery is the first concrete lead in an intensive, weeks-long search that was conducted in part by Norway’s elite missing-persons and organized-crime unit, Kripos.

    • Greg O’Connor to accept petition asking New Zealand to give Julian Assange asylum

      A support group campaigning for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to get political asylum New Zealand will present a petition to Parliament.

      MP Greg O’Connor will receive the petition from Free Assange NZ at Parliament due to a request from a constituent in his electorate Ohariu.

  • Finance

    • History’s solutions to runaway inequality: warfare, revolution, state collapse and plague

      In Walter Scheidel’s new book The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, the Stanford classics prof traces the rise and fall of inequality from humanity’s history, showing how over time, the rich get richer and richer, creating an ever-more-unstable situation, until, basically, the world melts down or the people start building guillotines on their doorsteps.

    • Can inequality only be fixed by war, revolution or plague?

      So are liberal democracies doomed to a repeat of the pattern that saw the gilded age give way to a breakdown of society? Or can they legislate a way out of the ominous cycle of brutal inequality and potential violence?

    • Bitmain, Goldcoins and Delphy Under Censorship: WeChat Limits Crypto Accounts Again

      The Messenger WeChat continues to block accounts related to cryptocurrency. If in August these were media accounts, this time the messenger decided to ban Bitmain and crypto analysts Goldcoins and Delphy.

      The official sales account of Bitmain (WeChat ID: antminersale) was limited for using on September 10, when searching for this page, a statement appeared proving the inconsistency of publications with the rules of the messenger.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Facebook has empowered a conservative magazine to suppress liberal viewpoints.
    • Judge Says Trump ‘Witch Hunt’ Tweets Can’t Beat DOJ’s Glomar Response On FBI Investigation Documents

      A federal court has decided public statements — including a handful of tweets — from President Trump aren’t enough to undercut the DOJ’s Glomar response about the existence of investigation documents. The James Madison Project, along with journalist Josh Gerstein, have been seeking documents confirming (or denying) President Trump himself has been or is currently the target of a DOJ investigation. (h/t Mike Scarcella)

      The DOJ has refused to answer the question or provide documents asserting anything one way or the other. Instead, it has told the plaintiffs it can neither confirm nor deny these documents exist. The DOJ is using FOIA Exemption 7(a) to support its Glomar, which covers documents whose release could “reasonably be expected to interfere with law enforcement proceedings.”

      One would think the use of any FOIA exemption would indicate sought documents exist. But the DOJ continues to insist it can’t even verify the existence (or nonexistence) of these documents without undermining an investigation it is or isn’t engaged in.

    • Shedding Some Light on Dark Money Political Donors

      On Wednesday we added details to our FEC Itemizer database on nearly $763 million in contributions to the political nonprofit organizations — also known as 501(c)(4) groups — that have spent the most money on federal elections during the past eight years. The data is courtesy of Issue One, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization that is dedicated to political reform and government ethics.

      These contributions often are called “dark money” because political nonprofits are not required to disclose their donors and can spend money supporting or opposing political candidates. By using government records and other publicly available sources, Issue One has compiled the most comprehensive accounting of such contributions to date.

      To compile the data, Issue One identified the 15 political nonprofits that reported spending the most money in federal elections since the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC in early 2010. It then found contributions using corporate filings, nonprofit reports and documents from the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Labor and Federal Election Commission. One of the top-spending political nonprofits, the National Association of Realtors, is almost entirely funded by its membership and has no records in this data.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Valve Clears Up Nothing With Its Latest Explanation Of What Games It Will Ban As ‘Troll Games’

      You will recall that several months back, Valve released a statement outlining what it considered to be sweeping changes to its game curation duties. While the company made a great deal of forthcoming tools on the Steam store for filtering game searches, pretty much everyone focused on the platform’s claim that it would no longer keep any game off its platform unless it was “illegal or a troll game.” That, of course, still left all kinds of ambiguity as to what is and is not allowed on the platform and it provided a wide avenue through which Steam could still drive its oversight truck. This led to our having a podcast discussion in which I pointed out repeatedly that this was every bit as opaque a policy as the one that proceeded it, which was followed by the real-world example of developers across the spectrum pointing out that they in fact had no idea what the policy actually meant. In other words, the whole thing has generally been an unproductive mess.

      A mess which Valve tried to clean up this past week in an extensive blog post on its site which attempted to define what it meant by “troll games.” As the folks at Ars point out, this attempt at clarity is anything but. Much of what Valve lays out as “troll games” makes sense: scam games that work Steam’s inventory system, or try to manipulate developer Steam keys, or games that are simply broken due to a lack of seriousness on the part of the developer. But then it also said the definition included what most people thought of in the original announcement: games that “just try to incite and sow discord.”

    • Letter: Censorship ‘boils my blood’
    • Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?
    • We won’t find out if Mark Zuckerberg can fix Facebook by asking him

      Can Mark Zuckerberg fix Facebook before it breaks democracy? That’s the headline on Evan Osnos’ 14,000-word profile of the Facebook CEO, after two years’ worth of scandals, in the New Yorker. That question is maybe unanswerable — what would it mean to fix Facebook, or democracy? — but the article does a better-than-average job at exploring its contours.

    • Facebook punishes liberal news site after fact check by right-wing site

      The article in question, published by ThinkProgress, was titled, “Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed.” While Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh didn’t literally say that he would vote to overturn the abortion ruling from 1973, ThinkProgress writer Ian Millhiser made a reasonable argument that Judge Kavanaugh’s statements show that he believes Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly.

    • Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed [Ed: The article in question]
    • ThinkProgress Accuses Facebook of Censorship After Conservative Factchecker Correctly Points Out an Error

      But the claim made by the article’s headline—”Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed”—is at the very least quite misleading.

      ThinkProgress is a left-of-center news site published by the Center for American Progress. Its writers have previously expressed concerns that Facebook would award an explicitly conservative media outlet factchecker status, a privilege enjoyed by just four other organizations: the Associated Press, Factcheck.org, Politifact, and Snopes.com. Articles tagged as false will lose “80 percent of future traffic,” according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and thus the stakes are indeed quite high for media organizations.

    • Facebook’s idea of ‘fact-checking’: Censoring ThinkProgress because conservative site told them to

      Last year, Facebook announced that it would partner with The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, to “fact check” news articles that are shared on Facebook. At the time, ThinkProgress expressed alarm at this decision.

      The Weekly Standard has a history of placing right-wing ideology before accurate reporting. Among other things, it labeled the Iraq War “A War to Be Proud Of” in 2005, and it ran an article in 2017 labeling climate science “Dadaist Science,” and promoted that article with the phrase “look under the hood on climate change ‘science’ and what you see isn’t pretty.”

    • The Way Forward: Bypassing Big Tech Censorship

      Obviously, corporate silencing of dissent is not the only troubling element of the Big Tech giants. At the top of concerns for users is privacy. And with new scandals about abuses of privacy emerging on a continual basis, a growing number of people are voting with their digital devices and using alternatives. In late July, Facebook lost $120 billion in value in one day — about 20 percent of the company’s market capitalization — setting a new record in stock-market history. And that incredible sell-off was caused, in part at least, by “reduced use,” with users spending less time on the platform and user growth slowing dramatically. In early 2018, Facebook announced its first-ever decline in daily U.S. users. With the company making a deliberate decision to purge conservatives, there may be more downside still to come.

    • Google Fights Global Expansion Of EU’s ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Law

      Google is fighting back against an expansion of the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” law, and on Tuesday, the EU’s executive arm joined it.

      The EU’s “Right to Be Forgotten” rule says that citizens have the right to have “inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive” links about themselves removed from EU search results. In practice, that includes embarrassing information.

      In the European Court of Justice Tuesday, France’s privacy regulator argued that the information should also be removed in global searches. It said by not doing so, Google isn’t respecting citizens’ right to privacy.

      But the European Commission and countries including Ireland and Greece say that would extend privacy protection laws beyond their original scope.

    • Google is fighting a big, messy battle over whether expanding the ‘right to be forgotten’ amounts to censorship

      Most people outside Europe don’t know much about the digital “right to be forgotten,” the idea that private citizens can ask search engines to scrub certain results about them.

      It’s a comparatively new idea, but a landmark ruling in 2014 from the European Court of Justice set the initial parameters of how it might apply. That ruling said search engines like Google could be forced to delete results.

      That ruling is at the center of a thorny battle between Google and France’s data-protection agency, CNIL, which is arguing that the right to be forgotten should apply to search-engine results globally, not just within the EU.

      According to CNIL’s complaint, Google does delete, or “delist,” some results from private citizens when requested. But its main bone of contention is that Google isn’t delisting the results everywhere. Some delisted information, CNIL said, was still visible on non-EU versions of Google.

    • Activists warn about ‘right to be forgotten’ being transformed into censorship

      The “right to be forgotten” or stopping certain web search results from appearing under searches for people’s names is once again up for scrutiny. Some free speech organisations are warning that the right to be forgotten may be in danger of being transformed into a tool of global censorship.

      As reported by The Guardian, a new test case at the European court of justice (ECJ) is looking to extend the power of the right to be forgotten, universally. This means, this would permit even national regulators to hide articles, which they feel are unacceptable. Further, in this case, the information could be removed not only from the national cyberspace, but also from global domains and from those of other countries.

    • Free speech concerns over possible extension of ‘right to be forgotten’ online

      Free speech could be under threat if the so-called “right to be forgotten” concept is rolled out globally, a human rights organisation has warned.

      Article 19, a British-led group of non-governmental organisations, is concerned that countries such as China, Russia and Saudi Arabia would have greater power in censoring information on the internet, if France is granted permission to force Google to de-list content on all the search engine’s domains.

      At present, the right to be forgotten allows European citizens to demand any results about them considered “inadequate, irrelevant or… excessive” to be removed, if the search is carried out in an EU country – even though the web page would still exist, it would be impossible to find on a search engine.

      France’s data regulator, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), is now asking the European Court of Justice to clarify whether the ability to de-list links should go beyond google.fr, the French site of Google, extending to all versions across the world.

    • Google case set to examine if EU data rules extend globally

      Google is going to Europe’s top court in its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend “right to be forgotten” rules to its search engines globally.

      The technology giant is set for a showdown at the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday with France’s data privacy regulator over an order to remove search results worldwide upon request.

    • Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

      Europe’s top court will tomorrow hear a case that could extend the scope of right to be forgotten rules globally – which free speech campaigners warn would amount to mass online censorship.

      The French data protection agency (CNIL) is pushing to broaden a landmark 2014 ruling (Google Spain v Gonzalez et al) that said Google could – in certain circumstances – be forced to delete search results.

      The CNIL is arguing that any such ruling should apply globally – rather than in the country where the request was made.

      Free speech campaigners counter that allowing this to happen would effectively grant European regulators the power to censor the world’s internet.

    • How to Use ‘Right to be Forgotten’ as a Censorship Tool

      A French data regulator is asking for more powers to remove out-of-date or embarrassing content from the web. This effectively turns the ‘right to be forgotten’ rule into a censorship tool.

    • Fake News Making Democracies Increasingly Vulnerable But Censorship is Not the Answer, Says US Expert

      Democracies worldwide, including India, are getting increasingly vulnerable to manipulations, and disinformation and more effective means must be put in place to check fake news but that does not mean that nations resort to censorship, says US expert Geysha Gozalez.

      Geysha Gonzalez, deputy director for the Eurasia centre at the Atlantic council, speaking to News18, in Lucknow said fact checking is a must to combat the disinformation in present scenario.

    • Censorship Spider Webs: The Curious Case Of Lebanese Cinema

      There are other endless similar anecdotes of movie parts that were censored because they were either deemed offensive to religion (mainly Islam and Christianity) as in the case of The Da Vinci Code, or because they contained sexually explicit material, or because they singled-out a certain political party.

      The reason behind such strict measures is due to the complex nature of the social and political Lebanese fabric, in addition to the confusion surrounding Lebanese identity as Lina Khatib points out.

      Such a fragile composition is mainly dominated by sectarian politics which were enforced following the Lebanese independence from France in 1943. By recognizing the multi-religious identity of Lebanon, politics and religion intermixed to produce a sectarian political system that cost the country a fifteen-year civil war between 1975 and 1990.

    • A Louisiana Mayor’s Ban of Nike Products Violates the First Amendment

      The city of Kenner’s policy of preventing booster clubs from buying or accepting delivery of Nike products is unconstitutional.

      The mayor of Kenner, Louisiana, doesn’t seem to like Colin Kaepernick much. He also doesn’t seem too happy that the sports merchandise juggernaut Nike made Kaepernick the face of its new “Dream Crazy” campaign. But instead of simply expressing his personal opinion, he’s trying to use the power of his public office to prevent others from expressing their support for Colin Kaepernick.

      And that’s unconstitutional.

      On Sept. 5, Kenner Mayor E. “Ben” Zahn III issued a memorandum prohibiting private booster clubs operating at Kenner recreation facilities from buying or accepting delivery of any product with the company’s famous swoosh symbol. “Under no circumstances,” the memo reads, “will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any City of Kenner Recreation Facility.” Under the new policy, the city’s director of parks and recreational must approve any athletic product or apparel before a booster club can purchase them.

    • Burlington High School guidance counselor faces licensing charges
    • Agency of Education charges Burlington guidance director with unprofessional conduct
    • Investigator: ‘Unprofessional’ Burlington High School Guidance Director Faked Transcript
    • Agency urges suspension of BHS guidance director
    • Burlington High censorship could test Vermont’s ‘New Voices’ law

      The editors of the Burlington High School newspaper, the BHS Register, say they have reached out to a legal nonprofit after being told to take down a story about a series licensing charges against Mario Macias, the director of the school’s guidance department.

      The interaction may test the state’s New Voices law, signed into law by Gov. Phil Scott in May 2017, which restricts prior restraint of high school publications and protects advisors and journalists from being disciplined over the publication of sensitive stories.

      Student editors Julia Shannon-Grillo, Halle Newman, Nataleigh Noble and Jenna Peterson broke the story Monday night after receiving an anonymous tip (the reporting has since been confirmed by VTDigger and other media outlets).

    • Facebook’s New “Rosetta” AI Can Spot Offensive Images And Videos

      Pictures and videos are an integral part of any social network, but these media mediums also turn out to be the chief perpetrators of fake news and hate speech. To minimize the impact of such harmful media, companies like Facebook use automated tools.

      In a recent blog post, Facebook has described a new machine learning-powered system that can identify text in videos and images, and transcribe the text into a machine-readable format.

    • Battlefield V Bizarre Beta Chat Censorship Is Confirmed

      With the Battlefield V open beta being released for a few days now, I think it’s fairly safe to say that, being diplomatic, opinions are mixed. While some have praised its polish and presentation, other have been exceptionally critical of the Call of Duty style play the game (and series in general) has clearly begun to orientate towards.

      One of the more strange claims though was that the in-game chat censor had some very unusual inclusions. Well, following a number of reports (and me checking myself) I can confirm that these rumours are 100% true!

    • EA acknowledges concerns over Battlefield V chat censorship, claiming it’s a “work-in-progress”
    • EA responds to Battlefield V beta chat filter that censors “white man,” DLC,” and “lag”
    • Twitter Accused of Censorship After Tagging Phrase ‘Illegal Alien’ as ‘Hateful’
    • Twitter Rejects Center for Immigration Studies Ads Critical of Illegal Immigration for ‘Hateful Content’
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Windows 10 Will Automatically Upload Rarely Used Files To OneDrive

      Windows 10’s new update Redstone 5 which is set to be released in October will change the way how files are managed and cleaned to free up the storage.

    • ‘The next billion users’: Google targets India’s lucrative mobile market

      As mobile markets in developed world near saturation, Google rolls out Neighbourly, its first Indian-inspired social network

    • Apple to create portal for law enforcement data requests

      The technology company said it will also create a team to train law enforcement regarding digital evidence as well as offer online training to authorities on how to submit requests through the portal, according to a letter sent to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) by the company that was provided to The Hill.

      Apple has previously handled such requests over email.

    • Nearly half of U.S. homes will have a smart speaker by year’s end, Adobe says

      Voice assistants, in the form of smart speakers such as Amazon.com’s AMZN, +2.48% Echo, Alphabet’s GOOGL, +1.27% GOOG, +1.09% Google Home and Apple’s AAPL, +2.53% HomePod, are now in 32% of homes, up from 28% in January, according to the report by Adobe Analytics, a unit of Adobe Systems Inc. ADBE, +0.61% . And that’s before the holiday shopping season, when analysts expect 79% of smart speakers to be sold this year. The report predicts 48% of households will have a smart speaker by the end of 2018.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Ron Wyden says Brett Kavanaugh appears to have lied in 2006 testimony

      Sen. Ron Wyden said Thursday that it appears Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh lied to Congress in 2006 when he testified about when he learned of a post-9/11 surveillance program.

      The Oregon Democrat said in an emailed statement to the Washington Examiner that documents published by the New York Times appear to contradict Kavanaugh’s testimony.

      “Yes, the documents made public this week strongly suggest Brett Kavanaugh was involved in discussions about the Bush administration’s illegal warrantless wiretapping programs, and that he misled the American people in his 2006 testimony,” Wyden said.

      “That kind of deception is unacceptable for someone who seeks a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land,” said Wyden, a prominent critic of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

      Kavanaugh testified during his 2006 confirmation hearing to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that he learned about “the president’s NSA warrantless wiretapping program” when he read a December 2005 article in the New York Times.

    • China BURNING bibles and closing churches in Communist Party censorship purge

      Video footage, captured in the Henan province of central China, shows crosses and bibles being thrown onto a large fire.

      A Chinese pastor in the city of Nanyang confirmed there was a raid on September 5.

      The crackdown on the Christian faith comes as part of a government initiative to “sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist Party.

      This way, President Xi Jinping could be able to remove the political threat of religion posed to the party’s authority.

    • China restricts online coverage of burning incense and praying in religious crackdown

      Chinese authorities have drafted sweeping new regulations that would severely restrict religious content online, including images or even descriptions of religious activities from praying and chanting to burning incense.

    • China is reportedly burning bibles and making Christians renounce their faith to ensure total loyalty to the Communist Party

      China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations in Beijing and several provinces, destroying crosses, burning bibles, shutting churches and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China.

      The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the officially atheist Communist Party and eliminating any challenge to its power over people’s lives.

    • A Missouri Town Will Finally Stop Banishing Residents for Reporting Domestic Violence

      In a sweeping settlement, the city of Maplewood has agreed to overhaul an ordinance that discourages crime victims from coming forward.

      In cities across America, calling 911 can get you evicted. This week, a city less than 10 miles outside of St. Louis agreed to stop enforcing this inhumane policy as part of an extensive settlement.

      Last year, we filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Rosetta Watson, a domestic violence survivor who was kicked out of her home and city because she called the police. Under a local ordinance in Maplewood, Missouri, anyone making more than two calls to the police for domestic violence was designated a “nuisance,” with no exception for victims. Ms. Watson called the police four times, when her ex-boyfriend kicked in her front door, punched her, and strangled her. Based on those calls, Maplewood revoked her occupancy permit, and she was banished from living in Maplewood for six months. For years afterwards, she struggled with fear of her abuser, distrust of law enforcement, and the inability to keep a stable home.

      On Tuesday, the Maplewood City Council approved an agreement settling the lawsuit, which includes a major overhaul of the law and compensation for Ms. Watson. Under the settlement, Maplewood will no longer enforce the ordinance against victims of crime or penalize residents based on calls for police or emergency services. The city also will train its officials on how to support victims of crime and provide records annually to the ACLU about how it is enforcing the ordinance overall.

    • Is China Cracking Down on Christianity? Officials Are Burning Bibles and Destroying Crucifixes as Religious Freedoms Sink

      A religious monitoring group added to the growing criticism that the Chinese authorities were cracking down on Christianity. The U.S.-based group China Aid said the government in Beijing was guilty of a “blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief,” The Associated Press reported.

      A Christian pastor in the city of Nanyang told the agency how in September authorities raided his church and burned bibles, crosses and furniture. But this has been disputed by a local official, who told the AP that the authorities respected religious freedoms.

      But on Sunday, they shut down one of Beijing’s largest unofficial Protestant churches after declaring that gatherings at the Zion Church were illegal. The church’s pastor, Ezra Jin Mingri, told Reuters: “I fear that there is no way for us to resolve this issue with the authorities.”

    • China Tightens Screws On Religion, Restricts Religious Content Online

      Chinese authorities have drafted sweeping new regulations that would severely restrict religious content online, including images or even descriptions of religious activities from praying and chanting to burning incense.

      The move comes as Beijing tightens the screws on religion, especially for followers of Islam and Christianity.

      The new rules would only allow members of officially licensed organisations to post certain kinds of religious content, according to a draft document published online Monday by the bureau of religious affairs.

      Individuals would be forbidden from posting photos, videos and even text related to religious activities, or sharing links related to preaching.

    • Outing the CIA’s Alfreda Bikowsky: An excerpt from “The Watchdogs Didn’t Bark”

      On Sept. 8, 2011, a representative of the Central Intelligence Agency sent a message to our joint work email account. We did not expect the CIA to be thrilled that we wanted to tell the story of their pre-9/11 failures, revealing names of employees working from their headquarters in the process, but we certainly did not expect to be threatened.

    • Senate Fails to Address Vital Questions During Examination of Supreme Court Nominee

      The Senate Judiciary Committee is charged with scrutinizing whether U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Trump should be confirmed. Three days of lengthy hearings, however, failed to meaningfully address crucial questions about how old law designed for analog situations might apply to our digital age. It would be premature for Congress to vote on any confirmation before a record of the judge’s views on new technologies and markets is thoroughly developed.

      It would be premature for Congress to vote on any confirmation before a record of the judge’s views on new technologies and markets is thoroughly developed.

      This summer, we published a detailed list of suggestions for questions the Senate should ask Judge Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. We recommended that Senators explore the nominee’s views of mass surveillance and law enforcement access to digital information, net neutrality and innovation (spanning both patent and copyright law), and competition and antitrust law.

      But after three days of hearings, the Senate process yielded only breadcrumbs as answers to the questions we identified as crucial for assessing how Judge Kavanaugh might rule in cases impacting your rights online.

    • It’s Time to Close a Loophole in the Constitution’s Double Jeopardy Rule

      State and federal prosecutors should not be permitted to prosecute someone twice for the same offense.

      The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment states that no one can be tried more than once for the same crime. The clause is designed to protect people from the danger of multiple prosecutions by overzealous prosecutors. Yet, since 1922, the Supreme Court has undermined this clause with an exception that allows state and federal prosecutors to bring separate charges for the same alleged crime. As a result, people can be prosecuted twice for the same offense — so long as the prosecutors are from separate “sovereigns.”

      This “dual-sovereignty” loophole should be closed. On Tuesday, the ACLU and ACLU of Alabama, alongside the Cato Institute and the Constitutional Accountability Center, filed an amicus brief in Gamble v. United States urging the Supreme Court to end the exception for good. The case involves Terance Gamble, who was convicted in 2016 by a federal court for weapons possession when he had already been tried and convicted in Alabama state court for the same exact crime. The federal conviction added years to his prison term.

      For nearly a century, the Supreme Court has operated under the questionable logic that having state and federal prosecutors bring the same case against the same person for the same offense in two different jurisdictions somehow makes it permissible.

    • Bolton’s Attack On International Criminal Court Was Hostile Expression Of Bipartisan Consensus In US Government

      John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, renewed his vendetta against the International Criminal Court. A longtime opponent, Bolton claimed the Trump administration would not offer any assistance to the ICC nor would officials cooperate with the ICC.

      The proclamation stemmed from the possibility that the ICC might investigate war crimes by United States military and coalition forces in Afghanistan, as well as crimes committed by the Afghan military and the Taliban.

      Bolton threatened to ban the ICC’s “judges and prosecutors from entering the United States,” “sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system,” and “prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system.” Even companies or countries that assist ICC investigations of Americans would face the ire of the administration.

      Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU’s Human Rights Program, noted this could have implications for investigations into CIA torture at black sites in Lithuania, Romania, and Poland.

      “They are sending this threat to anyone, virtually anyone who would be an a position to assist the ICC,” Dakwar said. “Does that include lawyers? Does that include individuals, organizations here in the United States? Lawyers who represented torture victims, including us at the ACLU? Where does that go? What is it that the Trump administration wants to do?”

      This is critically important. However, there were several liberals, including notorious #Resistance grifters, who reacted as if Trump was launching an attack on another pillar of justice and the law without acknowledging how the U.S. has never really supported the ICC.

    • D.C.-Based Pro-Israel Group Secretly Ran Misleading Facebook Ads to Target Pro-Palestinian Activist

      In 2016, as Palestinian-American poet Remi Kanazi performed at college campuses around the United States, his appearances seemed to spark student protests.

      Before his visit to John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, a page called “John Jay Students Against Hate” appeared on Facebook with Kanazi’s face next to a uniformed cop, painting Kanazi as anti-police. When Kanazi crossed the country a few days later to visit San Jose State, a nearly-identical Facebook page popped up, this one called “SJSU Students Against Hate,” with Kanazi’s face superimposed over an image of military graves. Paid Facebook campaigns promoted both pages.

      Despite their names, the Facebook campaigns were run by professional Washington D.C. political operatives who work for a group called the Israel on Campus Coalition, according to promotional materials obtained by ProPublica and the Forward.

    • Note to the Next Mayor: Chicago Is a City of the World, But We Want the Neighborhoods Fixed, Too

      Chicago police Officer Ray Tracy opened the September community meeting for police beats 815 and 821 the way he does every month, by going over the good news and bad news in the area’s recent crime statistics.

      Tracy noted that crime in the two beats, which make up much of the Archer Heights and Brighton Park neighborhoods on the city’s Southwest Side, remains relatively low.

      But the totals had ticked up in a number of areas, Tracy told the 20 residents gathered in a Catholic school classroom, many sitting in kid-size chairs. Several garages had been burglarized. And in the second half of August, there had been three shootings — none fatal, though still troubling.

    • EA defies Belgian loot box decision, setting up potential “gambling” lawsuit

      In the months since the Belgian Gaming Commission determined that certain video game loot boxes constituted illegal gambling, publishers like Blizzard, Valve, and Take-Two have removed loot boxes from their games in the country. Electronic Arts, though, has yet to remove the randomized items from its recent FIFA games, a decision which seems poised to set up a court fight.

    • It is now a thoughtcrime to criticise transgenderism

      Professors are facing calls to be sacked for holding impure thoughts. No, not in the long-forgotten past. Not in Saudi Arabia or some other fundamentalist state or totalitarian regime. Here, in the UK, in 2018. The accused – all of whom are women – would once have been burned for heresy. Now their names are added to secret lists. Universities are warned that they are harbouring dangerous blasphemers.

    • Trans Goldsmiths lecturer Natacha Kennedy behind smear campaign against academics

      A transgender lecturer orchestrated a smear campaign against academics across the UK in which universities were described as dangerous and accused of “hate crime” if they refused to accept activists’ views that biological males can be women, it can be revealed.

    • Americans Are Shifting The Rest Of Their Identity To Match Their Politics

      But New York University political scientist Patrick Egan has written a new paper showing evidence that identity and politics operate in the opposite direction too — people shift the non-political parts of their identity, including ethnicity and religion, to align better with being a Democrat or a Republican.

    • Couple Get Back $10,000 Seized By State Trooper After Local Media Starts Asking Questions

      The couple was traveling from New Jersey to a casino in West Virginia. A West Virginia state trooper rolled the dice on the out-of-state plates and pulled over their car for “failure to drive within [their] lane.” From there, the stop became exploratory with the trooper accusing them of smuggling drugs, smuggling cigarettes, or — following a search of the vehicle — gift card fraud.

      Smith and Patlias had $10,000 in cash between both of them. In addition, they had a number of gift cards, loyalty cards, and cash cards — all legally obtained — which the trooper used to shore up the last accusation on the list. Despite being possible fraudsters/smugglers, the trooper handed the pair a warning for the lane violation and let them go on their way. So, they returned to New Jersey with $2 in their pockets.

      This set the forfeiture in motion. The couple had 30 days to state a claim to their belongings, otherwise the proceeds would be split between the state police and the prosecutor. The trooper had every incentive to seize everything in the car (which included a cellphone): 90% of proceeds go to the agency that performed the seizure.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ajit Pai Again (Falsely) Claims States Are Powerless To Protect Broadband Consumers

      For much of the last year ISPs like Comcast have been successfully lobbying to eliminate most meaningful oversight of their broadband monopolies. On the federal level, that has involved convincing Ajit Pai to neuter the FCC’s authority over ISPs, then shoveling any remaining authority to an FTC that’s ill-equipped to actually do the job. On the state level, that has involved lobbying Pai (who again was happy to oblige) to include language in the FCC net neutrality repeal attempting to “pre-empt” (read: ban) states from also protecting consumers.

      These efforts haven’t gone well so far. Charter (Spectrum) tried to lean on this language to recently wiggle out of a New York State lawsuit over terrible speeds and poor service, only to have the courts reject its argument. And lawyers have argued that when the FCC abdicated its authority over ISPs, it ironically also eroded its rights to tell states what they can do, spelling trouble for any ISP plans to kill state level net neutrality rules.

      Undaunted, Pai’s FCC continues to insist it has this authority anyway. Last week, the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled (pdf) that Minnesota’s state government cannot regulate VoIP phone services offered by Charter and other cable companies because VoIP is an “information service” under federal law. Charter had sued the state PUC after it filed a complaint noting that Charter had split off its voice service from its regulated wholesale telecommunications business, dubbing it an “information service” in a bid to avoid state oversight.

  • DRM/”You Don’t Own What You’ve Bought”

    • Farmer Lobbying Group Accused Of Selling Out Farmers On Right To Repair Laws

      For the last few years, numerous states have been pushing so-called “right to repair” bills, which would make it easier for consumers to repair their own products and find replacement parts and tools. Not surprisingly, many tech companies have been working overtime to kill these efforts including Apple, which has tried to argue that Nebraska’s right to repair bill would turn the state into a nefarious playground for hackers. Opposition also includes Sony and Microsoft, both of which enjoy a repair monopoly on their respective video game consoles.

      Whether coming from Apple, Sony, or Microsoft, opposition to these bills usually focuses on the three (false) ideas: the bills will make users less safe, somehow “compromise” intellectual property, and open the door to cybersecurity theft.

      Much of the current right to repair fracas began with the lowly tractor. More specifically, it started when John Deere decided to ban anything but “unauthorized repairs,” inadvertently turning countless ordinary citizens into technology policy activists. A lengthy EULA the company required customers to sign back in 2016 forbids the lion-share of repair or modification of tractors customers thought they owned, simultaneously banning these consumers from suing over “crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment … arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software.”

    • You Don’t Own What You’ve Bought: Apple Disappears Purchased Movies

      Once again, copyright and the digitization of everything means you no longer “own” what you’ve “bought.” I thought we’d covered all this a decade ago when Kindle owners discovered that, even though they’d “purchased” copies of the ebook of George Orwell’s 1984, their books had been memory holed, thanks to Amazon losing a license. After there was an uproar, Amazon changed its system and promised such things would never happen again. You would think that other online stores selling digital items would remember this and design their systems not to do this — especially some of the largest.

      [...]

      Last year we had a podcast about a new book by two copyright professors about the “end of ownership” due to excessive copyright usage, and this is just yet another unfortunate example of what has happened when we lock everything up. You don’t own what you’ve bought.

      And, yes, it is not endorsing or advocating for piracy to note that this is one of the reasons why people pirate. Content that people pirate doesn’t magically disappear when licenses change and giant multinational companies decide to reach into your library and memory hole your purchases. Don’t want people to pirate so much? Stop doing this kind of anti-consumer bullshit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Qualcomm facing additional preliminary antitrust investigations in the EU over German iPhone lawsuits targeting Intel chips: MLex

      MLex, the leading source of insight on regulatory risk (and by now a Bloomberg subsidiary), yesterday reported that the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) has asked Qualcomm questions about an antitrust complaint Apple had filed earlier this year and that I believe hasn’t previously been reported on by anyone. According to Matthew Newman, one of the best-connected EU reporters (among other things, he was spokesman for a commissioner), the complaint relates to Qualcomm’s patent enforcement against Apple in Germany (trials will take place in Mannheim and Munich over the next few months, with one in each city scheduled for next week) targeting iPhones that incorporate Intel baseband chips.

      In January, the EU’s competition authority slammed Qualcomm with a $1.2 billion fine for its exclusionary conduct in the years 2011-2016 when Apple was contractually precluded from sourcing baseband chipsets from Qualcomm’s competitors such as Intel. As Commissioner Vestager explained at the time, Qualcomm had “taken measures to avoid competition on the merits” in its quest for total market dominance.

      [...]

      It has worked out for me in logistical terms to be able to attend next week’s Qualcomm v. Apple trials in Germany. I still have some things to do in Germany and will therefore be able to report on what’s going on there. A patent family Qualcomm is asserting in Munich raises a broader concern over the scope of software patents in Germany that sends a shiver down the spine of a former anti-software-patent campaigner, but the antitrust implications of cases specifically targeting Intel-powered iPhones (given that Intel is the only major competitor, thanks to its iPhone deal with Apple, that Qualcomm is facing at the moment) are even more important in the global scheme of things.

    • The great paradox: will mandarins splatter onto patent cases across Europe? [Ed: This is about mandarins, the fruit, not the language, but Miquel Montañá (Clifford Chance), writing in the Team UPC and litigators' blog, might as well point out that UPC would make things an order of magnitude worse. More money for law firms that help the Chinese blackmail European firms.]
    • Trademarks

      • European Commission Moves On Adoption Of WIPO GI Treaty; Timeframe Uncertain

        Over two years after a group of World Intellectual Property Organization members adopted a treaty on the protection of geographical indications, the European Commission has recommended that the European Union join the treaty. The EU was one of the major proponents of the treaty. Separately, a geographical indications industry group is urging EU attention to be placed on the need for legal certainty after the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.

      • Scandals and Corruption: Administration Should Focus its Attention on Actual Scandals

        Thinking about Brunetti – Prof. Ned Snow has explained his view that the limit on registering scandalous marks should be upheld — so long as the term scandalous is limited to just marks communicating “sexually-explicit or vulgar content.” Ned Snow, Denying Trademark for Scandalous Speech, 51 UC Davis L. Rev. ___ (2018). As I suggested in a prior post, the “scandalous” nature of the mark would be largely viewpoint neutral and therefore more likely to pass through Supreme Court scrutiny. Snow goes on to explain why the government should be involved — think of the children!

      • Yes, You Can Name A Website “Fucknazis.us”

        Jeremy Rubin just wanted to speak out about the rise of white supremacist groups in the U.S. and raise some money to fight against those groups. But the Internet domain name he registered in late 2017 for his campaign—“fucknazis.us”—ran afoul of a U.S. Department of Commerce policy banning certain words from .US domain names. A government contractor took away his domain name, effectively shuttering his website. Last month, after EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School intervened, Mr. Rubin got his site back.

        A government agency shutting down an Internet domain based on the contents of its name runs afoul of the First Amendment. After a long back-and-forth with EFF and the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Commerce Department’s contractor Neustar agreed to give Mr. Rubin back his domain, and to stop banning “dirty words.” fucknazis.us has proudly returned to the Internet.

        As anyone with a business or personal website knows, having a meaningful domain name can be the cornerstone of online presence. Mr. Rubin, moved to act after anti-Semitic and white supremacist incidents last summer, created a “virtual lapel pin” through the Ethereum computing platform as a fundraiser for opposition to these causes. The virtual pins, and the domain he registered to sell them, declared his message in a pithy fashion: “fucknazis.us”

        The Internet’s domain name system as a whole is governed by ICANN, an independent nonprofit organization. While ICANN imposes questionable rules from time to time, a blanket ban on naughty words in domain names has never been one of them. Unluckily for Mr. Rubin, the .US top-level domain is a different animal, because it’s controlled by the U.S. government.

      • Success! Roanoke ‘Harry Potter Festival’ Changes Name To ‘Generic Magic Festival’ due to WB’s Bullying

        Earlier this summer, we discussed a policy shift at Warner Bros. regarding how it was enforcing its Harry Potter intellectual property that has resulted in the bullying of several fan conventions and gatherings. Events long left alone by WB to enjoy and promote the Potter franchise were suddenly getting threat letters and communications from the studio, informing them that all references to franchise had to be removed. Many festivals, including one in Philadelphia, chose to simply shut down.

      • To avoid copyright infringement Roanoke’s Harry Potter Festival is now ‘Generic Magic Festival’

        The popularity of the Harry Potter series has led to various festivals across the nation. A copyright crackdown by Warner Brothers is putting a dark spell over these local events.

        In Philadelphia, a Harry Potter Festival that drew in 50,000 fans has been canceled.

        Although much smaller, even Roanoke’ Harry Potter Festival has now changed its name.

        New names, new features, larger spaces and more magical stories can be expected to appear in this year’s Generic Magic Festival– once known as the Harry Potter Festival.

        “We are still celebrating literary magic and a lot of the creatures and potions Rowling uses are ones from mythology that have been used for years,” said Tracy Fisher, Roanoke minister of magic for the Generic Magic Festival.

    • Copyrights

      • New Copyright Powers, New “Terrorist Content” Regulations: A Grim Day For Digital Rights in Europe

        Despite waves of calls and emails from European Internet users, the European Parliament today voted to accept the principle of a universal pre-emptive copyright filter for content-sharing sites, as well as the idea that news publishers should have the right to sue others for quoting news items online – or even using their titles as links to articles. Out of all of the potential amendments offered that would fix or ameliorate the damage caused by these proposals, they voted for worst on offer.

        There are still opportunities, at the EU level, at the national level, and ultimately in Europe’s courts, to limit the damage. But make no mistake, this is a serious setback for the Internet and digital rights in Europe.

        It also comes at a trepidatious moment for pro-Internet voices in the heart of the EU. On the same day as the vote on these articles, another branch of the European Union’s government, the Commission, announced plans to introduce a new regulation on “preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online”. Doubling down on speedy unchecked censorship, the proposals will create a new “removal order”, which will oblige hosting service providers to remove content within one hour of being ordered to do so. Echoing the language of the copyright directive, the Terrorist Regulation “aims at ensuring smooth functioning of the digital single market in an open and democratic society, by preventing the misuse of hosting services for terrorist purposes”; it encourages the use of “proactive measures, including the use of automated tools.”

        Not content with handing copyright law enforcement to algorithms and tech companies, the EU now wants to expand that to defining the limits of political speech too.

        And as bad as all this sounds, it could get even worse. Elections are coming up in the European Parliament next May. Many of the key parliamentarians who have worked on digital rights in Brussels will not be standing. Marietje Schaake, author of some of the better amendments for the directive, announced this week that she would not be running again. Julia Reda, the German Pirate Party representative, is moving on; Jan Philipp Albrecht, the MEP behind the GDPR, has already left Parliament to take up a position in domestic German politics. The European Parliament’s reserves of digital rights expertise, never that full to begin with, are emptying.

      • With the European Parliament vote on the copyright directive, the internet lost – for now

        The Parliament voted in favor of almost all provisions that extend more rights to the establishment copyright industries while failing to protect users and new creators online.

        The Parliament voted in favor of Article 13, which will essentially force online platforms to install expensive content filters to police user uploads and remove content if there’s any whiff of unauthorized sharing of copyrighted materials. The rule covers all types of content, from music to video to images. If platforms don’t take action, they assume liability for what their uses publish online. Upload filters will limit freedom of expression, as the technologies can’t tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works, such as memes shared as parody, or the incidental capture of an advertisement in the background of a selfie.

        They approved Article 11, which provides extra copyright-like rights to press publishers. Article 11 would force news aggregators to pay publishers for linking to their stories. The rule covers links and snippet over a single word. The Parliament’s vote also included giveaways to other groups, such as a new right for sporting event producers to lock down the sharing of fan photography and short videos at sporting events.

      • Today, Europe Lost The Internet. Now, We Fight Back.

        Today, in a vote that split almost every major EU party, Members of the European Parliament adopted every terrible proposal in the new Copyright Directive and rejected every good one, setting the stage for mass, automated surveillance and arbitrary censorship of the internet: text messages like tweets and Facebook updates; photos; videos; audio; software code — any and all media that can be copyrighted.

        Three proposals passed the European Parliament, each of them catastrophic for free expression, privacy, and the arts:

        1. Article 13: the Copyright Filters. All but the smallest platforms will have to defensively adopt copyright filters that examine everything you post and censor anything judged to be a copyright infringement.

      • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Mozilla reacts to EU Parliament vote on copyright reform

        Today marks a very sad day for the internet in Europe. Lawmakers in the European Parliament have just voted to turn their backs on key principles on which the internet was built; namely openness, decentralisation, and collaboration.

        Parliamentarians have given a green light to new rules that will compel online services to implement blanket upload filters, a crude and ineffective measure that could well spell an end to the rich creative fabric of memes, mashups, and GIFs that make internet culture so great. The Parliament’s vote also endorses a ‘link tax’ that will undermine access to knowledge and the sharing of information in Europe.

      • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: EU terrorism regulation threatens internet health in Europe

        The European Commission has today proposed a troublesome new regulation regarding terrorist content online. As we have said, illegal content – of which terrorist content is a particularly striking example – undermines the overall health of the internet. We welcome effective and sustainable efforts to address illegal content online. But the Commission’s proposal is a poor step in that direction. It would undermine due process online; compel the use of ineffective content filters; strengthen the position of a few dominant platforms while hampering European competitors; and, ultimately, violate the EU’s commitment to protecting fundamental rights.

        Under the Commission’s proposal, government-appointed authorities – not independent courts – would have the unilateral power to suppress speech on the internet. Longstanding norms around due process and the separation of powers would be swept aside, with little evidence to support such a drastic departure from established norms. These authorities would have vague, indeterminate authority to require additional proactive measures (including but not limited to content filters) from platforms where they deem them appropriate.

      • European Parliament Approves Negotiating Stance On Copyright Reform

        European Union lawmakers today approved by a 438-226 margin a measure updating EU copyright law and voted to begin negotiations with the European Commission (EC) and Council. The vote followed parliamentary rejection in June of plans to launch an immediate “trilogue” with the EC and Council based on text as approved by the lead Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), instead sending the measure for full debate at the September plenary held today.

      • Copyright Directive approved by EU Parliament

        After its rejection in July, the Digital Single Market Copyright Directive has been endorsed by the EU Parliament. But the controversial provisions contained in Articles 11 and 13 were only voted in by a narrow majority

        The European Parliament voted in favour of the Digital Single Market Copyright Directive today and paved the way for the long-awaited trilogue negotiations between the EU Council, Parliament and Commission.

      • EU Gives Up On The Open Web Experiment, Decides It Will Be The Licensed Web Going Forward

        Well, this was not entirely unexpected at this point, but in the EU Parliament earlier today, they voted to end the open web and move to a future of a licensed-only web. It is not final yet, as the adopted version by the EU Parliament is different than the (even worse) version that was agreed to by the EU Council. The two will now need to iron out the differences and then there will be a final vote on whatever awful consolidated version they eventually come up with. There will be plenty to say on this in the coming weeks, months and years, but let’s just summarize what has happened.

        For nearly two decades, the legacy entertainment industries have always hated the nature of the open web. Their entire business models were based on being gatekeepers, and a “broadcast” world in which everything was licensed and curated was perfect for that. It allowed the gatekeepers to have ultimate control — and with it the power to extract massive rents from actual creators (including taking control over their copyright). The open web changed much of that. By allowing anyone to publicize, distribute and sell works by themselves, directly to end users, the middlemen were no longer important.

        The fundamental nature of the internet was that it was a communications medium rather than a broadcast medium, and as such it allowed for permissionless distribution of content and communication. This has always infuriated the legacy gatekeepers as it completely undermined the control and leverage they had over the market. If you look back at nearly every legal move by these gatekeepers over the last twenty five years concerning the internet, it has always been about trying to move the internet away from an open, permissionless system back towards one that was a closed, licensed, broadcast, curated one. There’s historical precedence for this as well. It’s the same thing that happened to radio a century ago.

        [...]

        This is a dark day for the open internet in the EU… and around the world. Expect the same gatekeepers to use this move by the EU to put pressure on the US and lots of other countries around the world to “harmonize” and adopt similar standards in trade agreements.

      • MEPs advance Article 13 of EU Copyright Directive

        Open Rights Group has been campaigning against Article 13 over concerns that free speech will be impacted through the large scale removal of material without adequate review.

        Reacting to the vote in the EU Parliament in favour of Article 13 of the Copyright Directive, Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group said:

        “Article 13 creates a Robo-copyright regime that would zap any image, text, meme or video that appears to include copyright material whether it is legally used or not. This is disappointing and will open the door to more demands for Robocop censorship.

        The Directive is not yet law and could improve during trilogue negotiations. We will keep opposing these measures which will lead to legal material being removed in this way.”

      • Antiterrorist Censorship: The EU Commission Wants to Kill the Decentralized Internet

        This morning, as everybody was looking at the Copyright Directive adoption, the EU Commission released a proposal for a Regulation on the censorship of terrorist propaganda.

        This proposal would impose new obligations to hosting service providers, including the removal in less than an hour of the reported content. This proposal trivializes police and private censorship as well as the circumvention of justice. Automated filters, which play a crucial role in the debate for the Copyright Directive, are being held as a key component for the censorship in the digital era1.

        The fact is that only a few providers would be able to comply to those news obligations – in particular the one-hour deadline. The others – the vast majority which, since the beginning, have been the body of the Internet, would never be able to comply with these obligations and would be exposed to sanctions on a persistent basis.

      • Copyright Directive: the cultural industry and press publishers feed on the crumbs of the mass surveillance business

        The European Parliamant has just adopted the CopyRight Directive, despite delaying it last summer. Having successfully passed this Directive, the cultural industry and press publishers feed on the crumbs left by mass surveillance businesses. Rather than preventing such a capitulation to the GAFAM, French Government has vigourously promoted it.

        For 20 years, the French cultural industry has never been able to adapt to the Internet. Today, it is crazy about the success of Netflix or Amazon. Now, it is claiming for the crumbs of the cake. This industry is trying to make the giants of the Web, such as Youtube and Facebook, share the revenues of targeted advertising displayed with their contents.

        Targeted advertising depends on the monitoring of everyone, everywhere, anytime, without our freely given consent. Since 25 May and the GDPR, this clearly breaches the law.

        However, having failed to evolve, the cultural industry is now ready to rely on such unlawful practices. Following today’s vote, the financing of culture will be submitted to the mass surveillance business. By supporting the Directive, the French Government gave its blessing to the unlawful powers of Internet giants, rather than fighting them and protecting us.

      • ACE Scores Legal Victory and Wins $25m Piracy Damages From Tickbox

        ACE, the coalition of major Hollywood studios plus Amazon and Netflix, scored its first major legal win today. The company behind TickBox TV, a Kodi-powered streaming device, agreed to a stipulated judgment and permanent injunction which requires the company to cease all piracy activities and pay $25 million in damages.

      • More Than 35,000 ‘Pirates’ Targeted in Swedish Lawsuits This Year

        Sweden has become a hotbed for piracy lawsuits and the number of targets continues to rise. Newly released details show that more than 35,000 IP-addresses have been listed in so-called copyright troll cases thus far in 2018. That’s more than in the US and Canada combined. Swedish Internet provider Bahnhof is calling on the Government to curb this trend.

      • Europe is voting on a controversial law that could force Google, Facebook to block copyrighted content
      • European Union Copyright Vote Too Close To Call
      • The EU’s copyright plans will let anyone mass-censor the internet

        Tomorrow’s EU vote on a new copyright directive will determine whether the EU internet will be governed by algorithmic censorship filters whose blacklist anyone can add anything to. (Visit Save Your Internet to tell your MEP to vote against this)

        These filters are supposed to stop copyright infringement (in practice, infringers find it easy to get around filters, though), and they’re going to have to accept thousands of new entries at a time (Disney and Corbis will want to upload their whole catalogues, not pay data-entry clerks to upload every work in their vaults one at a time), and those new entries will have to go into effect immediately (companies whose new releases have leaked onto the internet won’t tolerate a delay of days or even hours while a human being reviews their submissions).

      • EU’s decision on Copyright Reform tomorrow could be a turning point for the web

        After a long and arduous process, the pivotal moment for EU‘s controversial Copyright Reform has arrived. On September 12, the 751 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will have a final decisive vote on the hotly debated reform, cementing the Parliament’s position before opening negotiations with national governments.

      • Pascal Nègre: ‘Article 13 would take the music industry backwards.’
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